Article Summary:How to get the most from your public relations budget.
PR is 10X less expensive than advertising -- and about a 100X more influential. Even so, every company wants to stretch its PR dollars. Here are our tips on how to maximize your public relations budget.
Compare Wire Services
Talk with your PR agency or local wire service representative about the best distribution circuit for your news release. Some releases require the shotgun blast of national distribution, while others need the rifle shot of a specialty circuit. Plus, local circuits can reduce costs while providing exposure to local media and financial outlets.
Ditch the Printed Press Kit
A printed press kit may feel good in your hands but it will end up in the trash if you send it to a reporter. Invest instead in developing a searchable and easy-to-access online press kit.
Free Speech Pays
Every PR program should include a speakers bureau and contributed article program. Take advantage of opportunities to speak (for free) at trade shows, conventions, industry associations, professional associations and community-service groups.
Write It Down
Dovetail your public speaking effort by writing articles that summarize your talks. Then submit these articles for publication in industry journals and trade outlets.
Size Up Trade Show Opportunities
Limit the number of trade shows where you exhibit. In many instances, reserving a hospitality suite can be just as effective. Use the time to schedule and meet with industry analysts and editors one-on-one.
Cultivate Expert Status
One of the surest ways to generate press is to cultivate thought leadership through the development of an expert platform. In addition to speaking and writing, introduce key company executives to the media as expert sources. You also can rely on listing services such as Business Wire's ExpertSource and PR Newswire's ProfNet.
Spread the Good News
Make sure your employees, board of directors, investors, channel and technology partners, and customers know about your media successes. When you earn coverage or issue press releases, send out a simple e-mail notification with a link to your news or develop a formal company e-newsletter to communicate your progress.
Cara Good is the co-founder and president of WunderMarx Inc., a fast-growing international public relations, marketing and branding firm representing some of the world's most innovative technologies and ideas. She has been quoted and featured in numerous articles on entrepreneurialism, public relations and marketing, and speaks frequently on these topics. For more information visit www.wundermarx.com